By Rey Panaligan
For gross ignorance of the law and gross misconduct, Makati City regional trial court (RTC) Judge Winlove Dumayas was dismissed by the Supreme Court (SC) in connection with the case of two persons charged in the 2012 killing of United States Marine Maj. George Anikow.
Dumayas’ retirement benefits were also forfeited and were barred from reemployment in the government.
The SC found that in Dumayas’ 2014 decision, he downgraded the case against accused Crispin dela Paz and Galicano Datu III from murder to homicide and sentenced them to the prison term ranging from four years to six years with eligibility for probation.
“He granted the separate applications for probation of Dela Paz and Datu, effectively sparing them from suffering the penalties they rightfully deserve. The pattern of said acts appears to be deliberate, calculated, and meant to unduly favor the accused,” the SC said.
It said Dumayas committed “oppressive disregard of the basic requirements of due process” and “misused the powers” granted to him by law when he sentenced the accused only to a homicide on the supposed finding of self-defense even without the accused invoking it and presenting evidence.
“His complete disregard of settled rules and jurisprudence on self-defense and of the events that transpired after the first fight, despite the existence of testimonial and physical evidence to the contrary, in the appreciation of the privileged mitigating circumstance of incomplete self-defense casts serious doubt on his impartiality and good faith,” the SC stressed.
Case records showed that Anikow, then a resident of Makati Bel-Air, figured in a brawl with the two accused on the night of Nov. 24, 2012, when the American serviceman demanded access through a gate to Rockwell complex, also in Makati City.
Anikow, reportedly drunk, was beaten and stabbed to death.
“In the case at bar, it was not shown from the evidence presented that the accused intended to surrender and admit the commission of the criminal act; they did not even invoke self-defense during the trial,” the SC said.
“Here, the attendant circumstances would reveal that the acts of Judge Dumayas contradicted any claim of good faith,” it said.
At the same time, the SC there were 13 other administrative cases filed against Dumayas from 2003 to 2016.
“The Court takes the aforementioned incidents as evidence of respondent’s stubborn propensity not to follow the rule of law and procedure in rendering judgments and orders. This definitely has besmirched the integrity and seriously compromised the reputation, not only of his court but more importantly, of the entire judicial system which he represents,” it stressed.